Monday, February 16, 2009

Catching Up

I realize my blog has been without a new post for some time so my purpose today is to inundate all my lovely readers out there with an extremely long post full of fun, fun stuff. Be aware...this post will be fun.

I left off almost a month ago (yikes!) with a long post describing my test taking woes. I'm delighted to inform all of you that our tests have not been graded as of yet although the promise of this so called "grade" has been repeated over and over again. Whatever..the tests are done and now it is on to thesis writing!

This first little video is from way back to the K300. I was sitting in my house the evening after the start of the K300 and heard all sorts of commotion outside. Curiously, I poked my head out the door and saw a group of children watching the K300 fireworks on my doorstep. Every time a firework would explode the riffraff on my steps would erupt into a cacophony of sounds.
Unfortunately, when I showed up to record this spectacle the kids started to ham it up a bit. However, this is fairly accurate in terms of what I heard from these kids.

In early February we had some visitors from Juneau come to Oscarville. The Juneau guests were visiting Napakiak as part of the Rose Program. The purpose of this program is to foster cross-cultural understanding between urban and rural Alaskan residents. The guests from Juneau come to a village for a week to experience what life is like in the Bush and then village students go to a city to experience life there. I would love to get my students involved in the program but I just don't feel like I have the time to organize everything. It is a ton of work and I commend all the teachers involved for the time they put into the program. My good friend K.C. works his tail off to ensure that the program goes well and that the students from Juneau have plenty to do while they visit. For the past few years K.C. has made a trip to Oscarville part of his program. He tells me that the Oscarville trip has been a favorite amongst his guests in the past. This year the weather was beautiful out for their trip upriver and after a quick tour of our little school, many of our students took the Juneau kids out skiing. The ski trip was followed up by cupcakes and hot chocolate and fun was had by all.

My students have been working hard. Here are some pictures of them working hard.

We have also had lots of visitors so far this month. At the beginning of the beginning of the month we had Mr. Lee Sundby come stay with us for a few days. He helped me out with some website stuff . I was finally able to devote a small amount of time to updating our school website. Check it out! Thanks for all your help Lee!

I also attended a Fiddle Dance in Napakiak earlier this month. One of the teachers there, Darren, is raising some money to send some of the students to Colorado. The entertainment for the evening was provided by the Akiak Jasper Band. They were pretty good. One of Brian's roommates, Joel, came with Christina and I and although we were surrounded by men only one male was brave enough to ask me to dance. After that one song I was done two-stepping for the evening. My favorite part of the evening was the Broom Dance. I really wish I had had my camera for this event because it really was something to see. The Broom Dance begins with all the women choosing a partner and begins to dance. One woman walks holding a broom amidst all the couples. After walking around for a few minutes the woman throws the broom to the ground and all the women must run and find a new man to dance with. Of course, one woman is left without a partner and must pick up the broom and dance with it until the feel like dropping it again. Then, the women all switch partners again. The whole point of the Broom Dance is that you don't want to get stuck with the broom. When the broom drops women hurtle themselves toward the first available man (which isn't really that uncommon in the Bush). It really was quite a comical spectacle to see. The Fiddle Dance was fun and was a great way to spend a Friday night.

Students in my English Language Development class have been working hard to create some movies to enter into our district wide multimedia competition. Some also entered movies in the Alaska Society for Technology in Education (ASTE) iDidamovie competition. It's amazing to see how much effort and work it goes into making a movie. We spent four weeks planning, scripting, filming and editing all the movies and we still had a few that just barely met the deadline. I'm so proud of all their hard work! They don't know it but today we are going to celebrate all their work with root beer floats and popcorn!!!

Here are some pics of them getting all their stuff together for the Multimedia Competition. Between you and I...we have the competition in the bag. I hope some of my students post their movies to their blogs so everyone can see their awesome work!

I'm also happy to report that we have been getting a nice amount of snow within the last couple of weeks. I came home from the school one evening and went out skiing with Macy. It was so relaxing and nice. The snow was perfect for skiing, it wasn't too cold and we didn't see another human the entire time we were out. The middle picture is of what it looks like on the slough when I don't use a flash...dark, eh?

Then, of course, there is Valentine's Day. I have discovered that many more people than I originally thought hate this holiday but I am always amused at the effort that goes into Valentine's Day in Oscarville. Maybe that is because so little really happens here that every little holiday becomes a big deal. Christina, knowing that I would be a Valentine's scrooge, bought some little candies for me to give the kids. I appreciated that very, very much. I usually do give the kids something for the big heart day, but this year I completely forgot. The kids had fun at our "party" and it was fun.

Macy also came to the Valentine's Day party. I was in the middle of taking a picture of her when a student stepped in front of me. Here is the resulting picture of Macy at our Valentine's Day party.

This past weekend Mr. Rendall was in town and we had lots of time to hang out. He had off of work one day last week and spent his time with Macy. I brought her up on Wednesday evening and she spent all day Thursday there. You can read more about their Play Day here. I traveled back to Bethel on Friday evening and Mr. Rendall made us some wonderful pizza pies and we just sat around and talked. Saturday was spent lounging around and drinking coffee and other various early morning liquids. We then traveled to the A.C. to get some food stuffs for our breakfast. Since it was so late in the afternoon Brian had to work extra fast to get breakfast on the table!

We came back to Oscarville on Saturday evening to find my house full of students preparing for the Science Fair this week. Brian and I decided to make ourself useful and unburied Christina's snowmobile from the drift she had buried it in earlier that morning. After that we were asked to join other students in the school to partake in some experimentation that the Junior High students were conducting. One experiment required us to eat a ton of noodles. We left the school tired and all sorts of pasta-y.

All in all the month of February seems to be dragging by. Next week I am heading to the ASTE conference in Anchorage. My friend Emily from Aniak is going to be there as well and I'm looking forward to some fun times. Never a dull moment with that girl around.

Here are some pictures of Macy enjoying life...what post would be complete without a few images of my awesome, awesome pup.


Anonymous said...

Erin, you never cease to amaze me. Write-on sister, this Blog always makes my day!
-your S-I-L

b.r. said...

At the Tundra Oasis, our reaction to the fireworks was similar. I like the picture of Macy being regurgitated by the blanket monster.

Anonymous said...


I do still hope that one day I can see for myself the life that you are living up in Alaska.

I try and keep an eye on what you've been up to and I'm pleased you've put an update on, since the last - I was getting worried!

Be Good,
Take Care,

Your Fan, In The Stan x.